Press release | Date: 26/05/2013
In Havana the Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC-EP have announced the most important breakthrough in the peace negotiations since formal talks were launched in Oslo last year.
In Havana today the Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC-EP announced the most important breakthrough in the peace negotiations since formal talks were launched in Oslo last year.
The Colombian Government and FARC-EP have reached agreement on improving access to land for Colombia’s many poor, small-scale farmers. Agricultural reform is one of FARC-EP’s key demands.
“The breakthrough is a milestone in the negotiations and reveals a genuine willingness to find a peaceful solution to Latin America’s longest armed conflict,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide.
Together with Cuba, Norway has acted as a facilitator of the peace negotiations, which aim to bring an end to over 50 years of internal conflict in Colombia. Since November 2012 the parties have conducted the negotiations in Havana.
“The conflict in Colombia has had severe humanitarian consequences for the civilian population. We are now one step closer to a solution. Norway will continue to support the negotiations for as long as this is the expressed desire of the parties,” Mr Eide said.
The parties will now discuss rights and guarantees for opposition groups in Colombia – a key issue that needs to be resolved if FARC-EP is to lay down its weapons in favour of participation in the political process. Other issues that need to be addressed include a ceasefire, disarmament, how to combat the drugs problem and compensation for the victims of the conflict.
Over four million people have been internally displaced as a result of the conflict. Tens of thousands have been killed, and there are a large number of landmines that continue to pose a threat to the civilian population.
Norway has been involved in peace and reconciliation efforts in Colombia for several decades. This work has consisted, among other things, of efforts to promote dialogue between different governments and guerrilla groups in Colombia